Posted: June 18, 2019
DECORAH, Iowa— A well-known woman of worship will be leading the Luther College student congregation on her path to pastoral work. Vicar Amalia Vagts, a 1995 Luther graduate, is a candidate for word and sacrament ministry in the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church in America (ELCA.) Her candidacy is sponsored and supported by her home congregation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa.
All candidates studying to become pastors in the ELCA complete a year of pastoral internship. Vagts’ internship is a collaboration between the Luther College student congregation with supervisor Pastor Anne Edison-Albright and two area congregations: Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader, Iowa and Emanuel Lutheran Church in Strawberry Point, Iowa with supervisor Pastor Susan Friedrich. “It’s been a few decades since we’ve had a pastoral intern at Luther,” said Pastor Edison-Albright, “Vicar Amalia’s time with us will be renewal of an important aspect of ministry at the college.”
At Luther, Vagts will plan, preach and lead worship as well as intentionally connect with students who are looking for ways to add spiritual practices into their daily lives. “Vicar Amalia brings creativity, curiosity and outstanding communication and leadership skills to every team she’s on,” said Pastor Edison-Albright. “I’m excited to get to continue to work with her in this new way, and to accompany her in everything she’s going to learn and experience about ministry on internship. She brings so much to the campus context and the parishes she’ll be serving this year.”
Vagts graduated from Luther College with degrees in religion and English. She then spent a decade working for reproductive and sexual health as a community organizer, lobbyist and campaign field manager for Planned Parenthood. From 2006 – 2017, Vagts served as executive director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, working in support of LGBTQ ministry leadership in the Lutheran church.
Pastors Edison-Albright and Friedrich expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with a pastoral intern who is openly LGBTQ. “It’s increasingly possible for diverse leaders to answer the call to serve in ministry leadership, and that’s a real blessing for the church,” said Pastor Edison-Albright. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, Vicar Amalia will bring valued new diversity to our ministry teams.”
When describing herself Vagts said, “I love to listen, work, and figure out how to invite people into their true selves. I believe God is alive in the world and seek to live my live in such a way that shows this is true.”
After Vagts’ internship year, she will return to Wartburg Theological Seminary School for a final year of study before beginning the process of ordination and seeking a first call as a pastor.
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